DescriptionA belt of land ranging between 2,000 and 4,000 feet on the broad western slope of Haleakalā forms the distinct Maui Upcountry district. Highway 37 connects a string of up-country towns from Pukalani to ‘Ulupalakua Ranch. Chinese and Portuguese immigrants settled here in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, establishing small farms on the fertile soils. The Kula district produces much of Hawai‘i's fresh vegetables, including carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes and onions.
Kula is renowned for its flowers, especially carnations, chrysanthemums and the exotic protea. The University of Hawai‘i's Maui Agricultural Research Center, off Copp Road on Mauna Place, is a noted protea research and development facility. The first plants were imported from Australia in 1965. Today there are more than 60 nurseries raising protea. The research center's grounds are open to the public; restrooms are not available. Phone (808) 878-1213.